Teacher Wardrobe Must-Haves

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by miss-m, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I'll be teaching either 1st or 2nd this coming year. I have a few professional things that will hold me over for a bit but I'm majorly lacking in teacher clothes. I hate shopping; it's so tedious, I hate trying things on, and lately I haven't seen any clothes of ANY kind that I'm really excited to wear. I sort of live in these basic v-necks from Target, but I'm worried they're not professional enough (they're fine with blazers or cardigans I think, but I'm trying to phase out the ones I already have) so I'm avoiding buying more.

    What are some wardrobe must-haves for primary teachers? I'm extremely prone to sitting, kneeling, crawling on the floor with kids (I have a weird thing with chairs, I'd rather sit on the floor most of the time), so I know I need stuff that's going to hold up and be washable, but I'm running into the dilemma of more-casual-but-more-kid-friendly or more-professional-less-kid-friendly.
    Help?
     
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  3. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    I have been an instructional aide in early childhood the last two years and I lived in very comfy dresses and leggings. I am talking cotton dresses that look nice if you see your P or a parent but are easy to get up and down on the floor a lot. That is just me though. My co-teacher headwind of the same mentality.
     
  4. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Our primary teachers wear dress pants that they can move in, comfortable shirts, or dressy tanks with cardigans. My friend in Kindergarten said that she is just very careful of shirt length (so the rear doesn't show) and how low of a cut the shirt is (in case of bending over). She will even test out the clothing by bending over to make sure nothing is sticking out. Target even has a lot of professional looking clothing at a decent price.
     
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  5. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I wear maxi skirts/capris and nice T shirts/blouses most of the time with sandals or toms. I teach primary and spend my days on the floor too.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I layer a lot. I wear t-shirts too, but usually wear a neutral colored undershirt (long sleeve or tank top depending on weather). That way you can better cover chest and midriff. Then, usually work appropriate pants or a long skirt. I find that nice jewelry is an easy way to dress up an outfit. By nice, I mean nice looking, not expensive.

    Maybe something like the picture below would work... That's kind of what I mean. Except, not white pants, because that's I'd stain them in minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    This one's cute too, if you like fitted jackets (I don't.) I prefer cardigans.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Jul 2, 2016

    I teach first and came from preschool, so I hear you on being on the floor a lot! Also, I do a lot of active brain breaks with the kids, so clothes definitely need to be comfy. I do a lot of colored denim or athletic cargo-type pants. You can pair them with a cute tee and a cardigan. Flats kill my feet, so I live in boots in the winter, but in the fall and spring I try to get away with cute Converse or sandals.
     
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  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 2, 2016

    Think basics in black, navy, taupe, maybe a plaid or pattern here or there.
    Pants/trousers
    Long sleeve tees
    Short sleeve knit tops
    Skirts
    Then add pops of color with pashminas, cardigans, statement necklaces.

    Also, invest in good shoes. Some swear by Merrills and Toms (and gasp! Crocs!). I don't wear any of these... Find shoes that look and feel good to you.
     
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  10. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    I swear by toms! I have like 10 pairs. So comfy!
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was hoping you'd weigh in, czacza! Our very own AtoZ style guru! ❤️
     
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  12. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Don't go crazy overbuying at first. See what other teachers wear in your building. That is how I learned that I can wear jeans everyday and it's not frowned upon.
     
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  13. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I teach preschool and I live in dresses and skirts! (With shorts, tights, or leggings underneath depending on the weather)
    I rarely wear pants, even in the winter but that's just my style.

    My absolute must-haves though are comfy shoes.
    I have Toms shoes and Crocs flats (super cute with a bow). And insoles.
    And I might buy Tieks closer to the school year
     
  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Me must-haves are slacks with pockets in beige/brown, grey, and black, comfy shoes that look professional (eccos are wonderful but pricey) and cardigans in a couple neutral colors. I bring in color with shirts/blouses and jewelry.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I :twohearts: both outfits posted by otter pop. I'd go with a classic pump with top one. Booties would be cute with second.
     
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I think the 2nd one is more the style I'll go for (minus the statement necklace because those always feel ridiculous on me).
    I got some chinos and linen tees from Loft this weekend (50% off holiday sale FTW!), so between those and my other nicer stuff I think I'll be set until I can figure out the clothing culture at my school and go shopping again.
    Thanks for all the input, everyone!
     
  17. Downtown

    Downtown New Member

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    I buy a lot of clothes from Loft, especially online and from the outlet. Their pants are comfortable. They have different fits that help reduce the pants from falling down. I especially love their basic t-shirts. I teach at the elementary level and I have them in a lot of colors. They pair well with the cardigans, too.
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I haven't done it for school clothes... but order from Kohl's and take back what I don't like. I would say comfy dress slacks or longer skirts. I was also very careful about the front cut. Leaning over to help littles ones make it seem worse. I don't want a parent or admin coming in with all low cut shirt. Comfy shoes as well.
     
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  19. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    While we're on the topic... can anyone recommend a place to get affordable, comfortable, stylish pants in a long size? I used to buy them from Victoria's Secret but they stopped making clothing.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 6, 2016

    Express has longer pants.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Depending on your region and/or the temp of your classroom, keep a sweater or blazer on hand. You might want a pair of really comfy shoes to slip on when working at your desk and nobody else sees you. I'm in Florida, so I always just took off my shoes. I always wanted an extra set of clothes - whether grubby ones for when I was working on the room or a work outfit in case of spills or something.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I googled tall women's pants and was surprised at the number of sites that came up. (I wish I had that problem and needed them!)
     
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  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Cardigans are always great, no matter what grade you teach. They cover you if you're a little cold, if your pants are just a bit too body hugging, or your top is too fitted. I wear them with tank tops and skirts in the 90-100 degree heat, but can also add color change an outfit, etc. You just need to buy them once and they will last forever. I actually got a lot of mine at thrift stores and have them in a variety of colors. first I started with black, white and beige and that matched pretty much everything.
     
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  24. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Yes, definitely invest in a pair or two of comfortable shoes that you'll be happy wearing every day. Many teachers like Danskos, but they don't fit me right. Naturalizer and Clarks are good brands too. The Walking Company is a good place to buy them; they have stores in malls and a website. Good shoes are expensive, but you can wear the right ones for years.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    As always with pants, though, it's hard to find ones that are just right! I don't like a fit that goes too high, but I also don't want them to be super low rise. Lots of online stores sell them, but they are much harder to find in brick-and-mortar stores and it's nice to try them on.
     
  26. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I wore dresses and skirts all the time when I taught grade 1. I never had any problems sitting on the floor, doing messy projects, going outside for recess duty, etc. It's all about being aware of how you are sitting and standing. For messy projects, I always kept an apron on hand to protect my clothing. There are tons of adorable aprons out there, but I just had a plain, navy one that went with most of my outfits.
     
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  27. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I just ordered an apron from zazzle... I love theirs. I customize it. I have a short & a long. They are heavy material &they have different colors. I wait for a good sale.
     
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  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yeah, otterpop, I think pants are just a pain to buy for many people. Dresses are probably easier, too, because you don' t have to match them up. I look awful in dresses, though.
     
  29. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Love this thread! A teacher should dress professionally and avoid the jeans-and-baggy-sweatshirt look. If we look like professionals, we are more likely to inspire confidence in our students and parents. The public should see us as competent and professional. If you went to a lawyer who dressed sloppy and casual, you might not want to hire that person.
     

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